An Iranian beauty queen begging for asylum in the Philippines says she will be killed if she is sent back home from the airport where she has lived for two weeks.
Bahareh Zare Bahari, a dental student who represented
The 31-year-old says the assault charge is ‘a big lie,’ believing she has been targeted for her political views on the Islamic Republic and support of women’s rights.
She told CNN that she has been confined to a passenger room in Terminal 3 in the Manila airport and feels ‘mentally sick’.
Bahareh Zare Bahari, a dental student who represented Iran at the 2018 Miss Intercontinental pageant in Manila, has been detained at Ninoy Aquino airport for six days after Iran put out an Interpol Red Notice
‘I have been living here since 2014 and I’ve not gone back to Iran. I explained to them many times, how can I have a criminal case in Iran when I’ve been living here?’, she told the publication via phone.
The beauty queen also reportedly said she thinks she has been targeted because she showed support for the exiled Reza Pahlavi, the son of the Shah of Iran overthrown in the country’s 1979 revolution.
She used an image of him and the flag of the former Iranian monarchy as props during a beauty contest ‘to try and be the voice of my people.’
She claims if sent back to her homeland, ‘They will kill me,’ she told
She denies committing any crimes in either the Philippines or Iran, where she has studied dentistry since 2014 (pictured representing Iran at a beauty pageant)
The Philippine authorities said she had been ‘restrained’ from entering their territory because of the Red Notice.
The charge against Ms Bahari is one of assault and battery and relates to an alleged incident with an Iranian national in the Philippines.
However, Markk Perete of the Philippine department of justice, told The Telegraph: ‘We don’t have any cause for refusing her entry for violation of our laws.’
The 31-year-old beauty queen says the allegation against her is a ‘big lie’
Ms Bahari said she was returning from Dubai when immigration authorities took her to a room at the airport in Manila.
Officials explained there was issue with her visa before telling her to take a flight back to Iran.
She claims she called a friend for help, and then she sat on the floor and told officials she wasn’t moving,
The friend who was called to help reportedly began crying and shouting and was arrested, with the Bureau of Immigration describing him as ‘unruly’ and breaching airport security in order to ‘fetch his compatriot.’
‘Foreign nationals should respect our laws when they are in our country. Improper behavior and derogatory remarks gave the officer further reason to deny Zare Bahari’s entry,’ Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement according to CNN.
Authorities accused both of ‘causing a scene,’ and alleged that Ms Bahari shouted ‘Jesus kill you all Filipinos!’
In January she appeared at a pageant in Manila carrying a picture of Reza Pahlavi, the last heir apparent to the Imperial State of Iran, while draped in the pre-revolutionary flag
Her asylum bid is now under review and she is receiving legal counsel.
In January she appeared at a pageant carrying a picture of Reza Pahlavi, the last heir apparent to the Imperial State of Iran, while draped in the pre-revolutionary flag.
Mr Pahlavi, who lives in exile, is seen as a champion of democracy and someone who could one day help bring a post-clerical state.
She is confined to Terminal 3 as she fears for her life or a minimum of 25 year in an Iranian jail.
Ms Bahari claims said she moved to the Philippines five years ago to study on a student visa that renews annually and is valid until 2020.
She denies committing any crimes in either the Philippines or Iran, where she has studied dentistry since 2014.
On Tuesday, Human Rights Watch asked for the Philippines to give Ms Bahari adequate support while she seeks asylum and reiterated that an Interpol Red Notice is null and void if the person charged is a refugee.
Mr Perete told